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The Record Vault – The Cult

It’s going to be a long road to go through the record collection. All the A’s and B’s are done. This involves, Vinyl LP’s, 12 inch singles, 7 inch singles, CD singles, CD LP’s, Cassettes, Tour Booklets and DVD’s of the artists.

Now we are up to C.

First up is “The Cult”.

This band was heavily played in Australia. I had their video clips recorded on various VHS cassette tapes plus live in studio appearances which they did for the various music channels.

But I only have a few physical products from The Cult.

Wildflower (12 inch single)
From the “Electric” album, released in 1987.

As soon as I heard the AC/DC like riff and groove I was in.

And the vocal melody of Ian Astbury sealed the deal.

Love Removal Machine (12 inch single)

Also from the “Electric” album.

How can you not like it?

It starts off like “Start Me Up” from The Rolling Stones and even the Stones song is a nod to “All Right Now” and that song is a nod to the whole British Blues Explosion from the 60’s that merged blues and folk.

And how good are the covers?

Sonic Temple

This is the album that made me commit.

The singles I heard continued in the hard rock direction set up with the earlier “Electric” album.

And producing is Bob Rock.

He wasn’t the famous producer he would become after “Dr Feelgood” hit the streets, as that album was still a few months away from being released (“Sonic Temple” came out in April 1989, and “Dr Feelgood” came out in September 1989), but he was still known to me from the credits of the “Slippery When Wet” album and the Loverboy albums.

There isn’t a song I don’t like.

“Sun King” could have come from any 70’s Rock album. It’s drenched in that psychedelic vibe.

“Fire Woman” rolls through like a fire storm. It’s hard rock but nothing like the LA hard rock otherwise known as Hair Metal.

“American Horse” has this “Mississippi Queen” feel in the verses which gets me interested and that melodic riff in the Chorus/Intro gets me playing air guitar.

How good is that sleazy groove in the outro?

The acoustic intro to “Edie” is simple, but effective.

“Sweet Soul Sister” was close to being my favourite because of that Intro riff.

But the piece d-resistance is “Soul Asylum” with that Kashmir drum feel and staccato guitar riff. And I would have been happy if the album ended here.

Then the riff started for “New York City” and my foot was tapping again as Astbury delivers a vocal line that’s Aerosmith worthy while “Automatic Blues” has Astbury and Duffy channelling Led Zeppelin. “Wake Up Time For Freedom” channels Alice Cooper and “I’m Eighteen” in the verses.

“Medicine Train” closes the album, the slide guitar acoustic and harmonica in the intro is a diversion for the rawk and roll coming on the horizon.

Pure Cult

Astbury and Duffy thought no one would be interested in this collection of tracks, but a lot of us where, because although we liked the bands singles and taped the music videos, we didn’t really want to fork out on all the earlier albums that most reviewers said, “had a lot of filler”.

So when this collection dropped, it was the perfect compendium.

And they could tour with Aerosmith, Metallica and Soundgarden. Their music was smart enough and timeless to transcend genres in people’s minds. You can like Slayer and still like The Cult. Because Astbury didn’t come across as a cock rocker. Vocalists like Astbury and Glenn Danzig built their careers on that whole Morrison vocal vibe and it never dated.


9 thoughts on “The Record Vault – The Cult

  1. Love these guys. Electric has a great sound as well. I love that rawness but Sonic Temple man that album was huge.
    You should check out the self titled from 94. It didn’t sell why but The CULT kept changing it up. They have never really made any two albums that sound the same.
    Great stuff man

  2. I was in a record store in Sunday while on vacation, because I have to visit record stores whenever we go on vacation, and I picked up the Electric album. Can’t wait to get home and play it. Now this post makes me want to play it even more.

  3. Ken Taylor says:

    I just finished a pod cast called Speak n Destroy, has a lot of different guest talking about Metallica and sharing stories, just finished the Billy Duffy one, great Pod, lots of stories with Metallica and the making of Sonic Temple. Those were the days of buying an album just based on its cover, taking it home and letting the new sounds wash over you as you read the fuck out of the sleeve, have only about six albums like that, being 14-15 and hearing these new bands and still have the memories to this day at 46!!

    • Yep that same devotion to OD on an album is not there today. My kids asked me this morning what the fuck did I used to do in the 80s. I turned to em and said, listen to music constantly with the cover and lyric sheets and watch movies over and over again. And somewhere in between I found time to catch up with friends, and purchase more music.

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